The Jacksons @ UB

So now I’ve seen all the Jacksons…or well the ones that matter. I saw a commercial a few weeks ago for The Jacksons playing at UB. It was on a Saturday, and I thought it was Thanksgiving Saturday, so I let it go because it was the one Saturday this month I didn’t have off. But then it turns out, nope, it was the 21st, which I did have off. I still let it go, I didn’t feel like spending any money on it, and I wouldn’t be able to find anyone to go with. But then my friend Melissa posted on fb that her son was selling tickets for $10 to benefit his jazz band at the high school so then I found it hard to say no. I bought 2 tickets in the chance I’d get someone to go, but in the end I went by myself.

I didn’t realize there were only 4 of them performing, and I didn’t know which one was missing. I thought it was Jackie cuz I thought he played guitar back in the day, and only Tito was playing (and Jermaine sometimes) but they finally did “call outs” to each other, and turns out Jackie was there and it was Randy who was missing.  They played just over an hour and it actually was pretty good. Honestly I wanted to cry the first few songs, every time it was an MJ part being sung by one of the others. I got over it. Jermaine seemed like he was kinda phoning it in, he wasn’t as into it as Jackie and Marlon (and Tito plays guitar, so really, how into dancing can he be?). They looked like they were having fun though. And all the songs are classics by now, so it was cool to hear them. I love Can You Feel It, and This Place Hotel was good. I was surprised at State of Shock, though I don’t know why. It felt like they played more than this setlist says, but probably because of the middle medley.

The MJ covers were “safe” for them to do, I think. No mega hits, like Jermaine trying to perform Billie Jean or something that would be sacrilegious haha. But Can’t Let Her Get Away was an odd choice. The music was not recognizable to me but the lyrics were and I couldn’t figure it out until the chorus. Hey, it’s been a long time since I listened to Dangerous lol plus it was live and changed a bit.

Jermaine kept taking out his ear piece, just like MJ was doing in This Is It, so now I’m watching it again haha.

So it was good, I’m glad I went though I’m not sure I’d have paid a ton to go. It was fun and it made me smile even if I was sad too.

Can You Feel It
Blame It on the Boogie
I Wanna Be Where You Are
Rock With You
Enjoy Yourself
Show You the Way to Go
Lovely One
2300 Jackson Street (Video Interlude)
I Want You Back / ABC / The Love You Save / Dancing Machine / Never Can Say Goodbye / I’ll Be There
Can’t Let Her Get Away
This Place Hotel
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
State of Shock
Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)

IAMX Toronto 10-23-15

The end of vacation brought heading to Toronto to see IAMX with Adr2 and Bliss. I don’t think we’d seen each other since NIN in Cleveland 2 years ago, since Adr2 has been sick so it was nice to hang out and see a show together again.

I found IAMX about 3 years ago on Spotify and thought they were pretty good. A combination of dark and mellow and electronic. I missed their show in Toronto a few years ago, and honestly would have probably skipped this one too if Adr2 hadn’t asked if I wanted to go. I’m getting old, my desire to drive 2 hours to see bands by myself has waned haha.

The show was pretty much what I was expecting. Pretty, skinny people on stage haha. They sounded great, even the songs I didn’t know, since I’ve slacked on listening to their 4th and 5th records. It was super hot inside Lee’s Palace but the crowd was good, seemed into it, not annoying (mostly). Glad I went. I’m going to have to check out those other 2 records now.

I Come With Knives
The Alternative
No Maker Made Me
Tear Garden
Oh Cruel Darkness Embrace Me
Spit It Out
After Every Party I Die
Your Joy Is My Low

Bring Me Back a Dog
Kiss + Swallow
I Am Terrified


(Oh yeah, the opener was Mr Kitty…!!!…ok they weren’t really any good, but I had to buy a shirt!)

Mr Kitty be like, "Yeah, there's a band named after me."

Mr Kitty be like, “Yeah, there’s a band named after me.”

scott weiland @ rapids theatre

scott weiland’s solo tour “purple to the core” rolled into rapids theatre in niagara falls on march 4th. jason volunteered to go with me even though he had no idea who scott, or stp was. a band called miggs opened, they were ok rock and roll. it made me feel old, because i was tired of standing around before they came out, tired of having to listen to opening bands i don’t care about, and then tired of standing around more during the almost hour and a half wait between miggs and scott. the future nin tour is going to suck, i’m already not wanting to queue all day, and stand around for 5 hours. haha.

anyway….scott came on late, not til 10ish, which he apologized for claiming they had a 17 hour bus ride the day before, with a broken cold bus. rapids had advertised the show as being core and purple in their entirety, which did not happen, but they did play mostly songs off those 2 albums. it was a decent show, it wasn’t mind blowing, partly because I found it hard to hear him a lot of the time. his mic could definitely have been turned up. and even though the band he was with sounded good, i feel like he is better with stp. he played a theramin for a few songs, but it was back in front of the drums, and all theramin playing should always be at the front of the stage! the show was about an hour and a half, as expected. glad i went, but since eric decided not to go, and kate never showed up, i’d say they didn’t miss much.

this is the setlist from the night before in traverse city, but it looks to be the same to me. though i don’t know “paralysis” (scott solo song?), and i don’t remember “where the river goes” but i do remember a song turning into “mountain song” so i’m guessing i just blanked on it.

Opening Jam
Crackerman (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Wicked Garden (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Naked Sunday (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Creep (Stone Temple Pilots song)
The Jean Genie (David Bowie cover)
Where the River Goes (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Mountain Song (Jane’s Addiction cover)
Kitchenware & Candybars (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Big Empty (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Can’t Stand Me Now (The Libertines cover)
Still Remains (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Vasoline (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Interstate Love Song (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Roadhouse Blues (The Doors cover)
Sex Type Thing (Stone Temple Pilots song)

the dreaming @ montage music hall, Rochester, NY

Jason was coming home from vacation in Lake George, and I was heading to Rochester to see the Dreaming, so we met up in the city to go to the show. A yummy dinner at the original location of Sticky Lips BBQ was followed by a visit with Eric and Tiff to see their new baby Nathan. A quick but nice visit, then to Montage for the show.

I’ve really been waiting 12 years or so to see Chris Hall and/or Stabbing Westward or the Dreaming. Somehow I never saw SW back when I got into them, even though they were still together at the time. Montage is a tiny little place, that was ridiculously loud. We got there later, missing most of the openers. I don’t know who was playing when we walked in, but I thought, that sounds like The Edge guitar, specifically “I Will Follow” and the singer introduced a song that “everyone would know”, and proceeded to play “Pride”. Ok so I had the wrong U2 song, but I was right about the guitar tone ha. Got some drinks, socialized with Joe a bit, said hi to Johnny Haro who plays drums for the Dreaming now.

Aside from the show being so loud, it was pretty decent. The band sounded good, though their songs start to sound the same after a while. I was impressed with Chris Hall’s voice, as many many many of those 90s guys I used to like can’t sing for shit anymore. He sounded right on, hitting all the notes he should be. After the show I bought their new cd Puppet and Chris signed it. He was like “you guys looked so bored during the show, which I’m sure is how I look when I’m at a show, but…” LOL I had to explain that they weren’t Jay’s style, but that I had waited a long time to see them, I just don’t dance sooo. There were at most 40 people there, and it’s hard to hide in the crowd when there isn’t one….

No setlist, and I can’t even begin to guess at it. But they did play SW covers: What do I have to do, Shame, Sometimes it Hurts (which Chris started acoustically), and Save Yourself…maybe another one, I didn’t recognize the song so it might have been from their 4th record (so far away? yeah that’s on the 4th, so I don’t know it). They also played their cover of Depeche Mode’s It’s No Good.

Ok so this setlist is from Chicago but Joe says it’s accurate except they didn’t play Waking Up Beside You (that’s a shame…)

End In Tears
What Do I Have to Do? (Stabbing Westward cover)
Set Fire to the Rain (Adele cover)
There Will Be Blood
Waking Up Beside you
Make It Go Away
Every Trace
It’s No Good (Depeche Mode cover)
So Far Away (Stabbing Westward cover)
Fight For You
Shame (Stabbing Westward cover)
Sometimes It Hurts (Stabbing Westward cover) (acoustic)
Save Yourself (Stabbing Westward cover)

Boston part 2

Jason and I headed back to Boston to stay with his sister because he had gotten tickets to see 2 Amanda Palmer events by donating to her kickstarter album campaign. So we left work super early Tuesday, to try to sleep before catching the red eye, but that didn’t work well so once we got to his sister’s apartment we went back to bed for a few hours. Caught a late lunch at Red Bones because he needed to succeed at eating the jamaican jerk beef sandwich which defeated him back in May hahaha (and he was successful this time!) Made a few stops in some stores, then off to the Middle East for the show.

The first night was a special VIP event for kickstarter supporters who donated at a certain (high) level. It was more of an artsy thing, featuring an art show of work Amanda had commissioned, or called for, for her album. She said usually the art is displayed in the same location as the performance, but at this place the art had to be in a different room of the restaurant upstairs, and the show was in the performance venue downstairs. And the show was not really a traditional rock show, more performance art kind of thing. She introduced a guy from her band, and he played an orchestral piece with some other string players. Then a guy named Walter Sikert played one song, and then Amanda. It was her, and the first guy who played, and another guy from her band, just with a banjo and mandolin or something, and she had a key-tar that she played a few times, and a knife….yeah. So it was just the 3 of them on the floor, no mics, no amps, with people sitting on the floor around them, and other standing behind. If there were 150 people there, that’d be high. It was small and intimate and kinda really great. They played a handful of new songs, a cover of Nirvana’s “Polly”, and probably old stuff…I don’t really know, because I don’t know any of her work other than what was played with Dresden Dolls when they opened for NIN in 2005. But yeah, she is definitely a performer and this small thing was really neat to see. Oh, everyone there got a gift bag with stuff in it, and each one had a different used book picked out by Amanda (or possibly her husband, Neil Gaiman, who I think is the real reason Jason donated to Amanda, cuz he really isn’t a fan of her haha). My bag contained John Irving’s A Widow for One Year…ok! and a folding pocket comb, which I’m pretty sure I also got in a package from Chuck Palahniuk, an adult sized eye mask, and a few stickers. I can’t remember Jason’s book, but he also got a purple crayola marker.

Our 2nd day brought lunch in Harvard area, so we could be near the glasses place Jason ordered new frames at, then we headed to the Institute of Contemporary Art. I had seen an ad in the subway for their current exhibit which looked neat, and I/we hadn’t been there before. It is a small museum, but it was a good interesting collection of modern art that didn’t make me mad, which is hard to do haha. Our next destination was Newbury St so Jason could get some shoes, but we went a round about way that included walking through Boston Common where it was ridiculously hot, then going down the wrong street in the wrong direction, and finally having to break out google maps to figure it out LOL. But we made it, he got shoes, then back to his sister’s to get ready for the 2nd show, and grab dinner with her.

The 2nd show was a regular concert that was open to the public and sold out (venue capacity was like, 567, so still a small show), but it was still part of the kickstarter rewards Jason got. It was ridiculously hot and uncomfortable in there, and Amanda wasn’t going to go on until 10:30, so it was a bit unpleasant, and we were stupid tired from being out in the heat all day. Eventually we moved from the bench we claimed on the side of the room, to stand in the back in front of a large fan, which was much much better. So there were 3 openers, someone maybe called Jaggery, the singer lives with Amanda. When she wasn’t screeching she had a nice voice, but good lord, the screeching was so ear pain-y. Next up was someone else who lives with Amanda, who is a piano composer and played one of his pieces. Then Walter Sickert played a full 30 minutes set, and he has potential. Going to have to look him up. Then it was Amanda, backed by her full band, the Grand Theft Orchestra. They played nearly 2 hours, and included 2 Dresden Dolls songs I recognized from 05. Again, she puts on a great performance, though it was different from the night before, and not being a fan, 2 hours might have been a bit long. But it was enjoyable and I’m super glad Jason took me with him. I don’t think I could ever listen to a full album of Amanda’s work, but she is definitely entertaining.

Bars close at 1 or 2am in Boston, depending on something we don’t know, so we caught a cab from the Middle East, and went to a bar we had passed on the bus that I was like “we must go there!” and happened to be open until 2, called People’s Republik. Communist bars yay! Grabbed a drink there before they closed and we headed back to the apartment for the night. Early wake up this morning, to head to the airport to come home, and my cab fare was $50, only he didn’t take credit cards and I only had $45 cash. oh well LOL. Guess I didn’t have to pay for his tolls, and he didn’t get a tip. So sad. Jason thinks $50 was too high anyway so….I win. Of course, my flight was delayed and I didn’t bother to check before I got the cab, so I had an extra hour to kill at Logan by myself. But it was no big deal (especially considering how long we sat at the airport when we went to Boston in May).

Great trip, albeit short, but it’s always nice to get away for a few days.

Bruce Springsteen – First Niagara Center – 4-13-12

We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
The Ties That Bind
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Mountain of Love
Jack of All Trades
Prove It All Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Shackled & Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Apollo Medley
Point Blank
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Rising
Lonesome Day
We Are Alive
Thunder Road
* * *
Rocky Ground (with Michelle Moore)
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out


Tonight was Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour Cirque du Soleil show with LeighAnne in Hamilton. Feels like I bought the tickets forever ago, because I think it was a year ago haha. I hate that.

Anyway. We headed out with google directions, which took me a way that I’ve never taken before, and instead of trusting them (also because we were on a street named not what the directions said), i thought we were going the wrong way and turned around. only that wasn’t the right way either, and after turning on data roaming, we ended up going back the way the original directions said…a nice tour through the Hamilton steel district, and low class homes instead of the usual highway route. Google maps fail. So with all that, we were 15 minutes late to the show. I’m not sure how much we missed since we saw all of MJ’s “main” songs in the rest of the show *shrug*. (edit: ooh, maybe dirty diana? if it’s not in the set, it should be)

Overall I thought it was very good. However having never seen a Cirque show before, I expected much more acrobatics and people flying around than there was. It was much more about the music and dancing, than flying around in the air. There still were some flying acts, and acrobats, and one pole dancer but…just expected more of that (perhaps the permanent “more theatrical” vegas show in 2013 will have more of it). I think MJ would be happy with it, they did a good job paying tribute to him and his style. Highlights were “Smooth Criminal” and “Human Nature”. There was a really creepy bit with a giant gloved hand and giant mj shoes/socks haha. The songs I don’t like because they are lame, I still didn’t like in the show (ahem, childhood, gone too soon). They did a lot of older Jacksons stuff too, which was nice, since I’d never seen them live.

After sitting in the parking ramp for a half hour, I remembered not to park in ramps at events 😛 We hit up a gas station on the way home to get weird flavors of chips…we got extreme dill doritos (groossss), spicy thai doritos (yum), roasted chicken (actually pretty good, didn’t taste like chicken, more like spices you’d put on poultry), spicy ketchup (much like regular ketchup) and…what’s it called? like “everything” flavor which really was mostly bbq. I also picked up a Coffee Crisp milk…not as good as I expected, definitely inferior to Intense Chocolate Milk, but it’s ok.

I had a good time with Lei, definitely enjoyed the show! Yay!

rammstein – air canada center, toronto, ontario

Adrienne2, Bliss and I headed up to Toronto to see Rammstein on their first time back to North America since…oh, Family Values in 1999. They are huge fans, me…I like them, they are fun, but being in German and all, I can’t say that I can sing along, or know any song titles or any of that. And the non english thing hinders my ability to really connect with the music. But it was still super fun and entertaining, and the music and show were great.

Opening band was Combichrist, who we saw with KMFDM and then again a few years ago on their own tour with Julien K. I’m only familiar with them through the shows, and they are a pretty good industrial band. They started right when doors open, so even though we got there at exactly 8pm, we missed a little bit.

Rammstein probably played a good 2 hours with, as expected, a great pyro show. Lots of plumes of fire, hand held shooters, face mask flame throwers, arm bands of fire, wings on fire, fire works, explosions, setting people on fire, a canon that shot foam (use your imagination haha). Yeah. Pyro. I was going to say it’s the best pyro show I’ve ever seen, but thinking about it, it may be the only pyro show I’ve seen. Regardless, it had to be the best one. Those Germans are crazy! I don’t know the setlist, and can’t find one. Good show, good music, very entertaining. Glad I got the chance to see them since they’ll probably never be back again.

Legends of Hip Hop Tour

Tonight was Salt n Pepa’s Legends of Hip Hop tour at Shea’s with Lindsay and Alex. I’ve seen Run DMC and Sugar Hill Gang, but this was really my first hip hop show. And it was quite an interesting experience. If you want to see an enthusiasic crowd with lots of participation, go to an old school hip hop show. It had to be the most energetic and excited crowd I’ve seen in a long time, if not ever. It was amusing. And I can’t say I fit in AT ALL, but it was a cool happy party vibe.

So the show was Rob Base, Kurtis Blow, Doug E Fresh, Whodini and Salt n Pepa. I can’t say I was really familiar with what got played, but I did recognize songs here and there, and I used to loooove SnP back in the 90s. Each set was 20-30 minutes I think, even SnP’s, and it was one after another (no set changes when you just have djs haha). SnP played what you would expect (Whatta Man, Shoop, Push It) and older stuff I sorta recognized but didn’t know real well.

It was cool to see, and just a very different experience from a rock show. Had fun, glad I went 🙂

30 Seconds to Mars – Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls NY

This will be a quick review of the show. I am only familiar with 30stm’s first album, and then some radio singles, but I figured it was a night off of work, and it should be a good rock show to balance out seeing Salt n Pepa in a few days haha.

Opener was Middle Class Rut, and were fairly generic. Just 2 guys, singer/guitarist and drummer/singer. The guitarist would be better suited in a Jane’s Addiction cover band because he sounded just like Perry Farrel.

To be honest 30stm was underwhelming. I’ve seen many many bands where I have been unfamiliar with all or most of their catalog, who have still impressed me. I went into this show hoping to leave wanting to get their other albums, but alas that didn’t happen. They didn’t play anything from their 1st album, so I really only knew 4 or 5 songs, and those not very well. As Bliss put it at the end of the show, it was pretty much “the audience sings to 30stm”, with Jared Leto singing a few words and holding out the mic for the audience to sing. I half think it’s because the way he sings seems like it would be difficult to recreate live night after night, or that he just is not a good singer, I don’t really know. But it was alot of audience participation and not alot of Jared singing. I wondered if they just had an off night, and Leighanne, who had seen them twice before, said it wasn’t the best show she’s seen, so I guess my take isn’t all that off.

Now Rapids Theatre…I had been there for the Tea Party in 04 or 05, and Lacuna Coil/Stone Sour in 07, then it closed for a while. And wow what an improvement. It no longer feels dirty, and like the decorative ceiling is going to fall down on you. New owners spent millions on restoration work and it shows. It was a great place to see a show even when it was falling down, but definitely more comfortable now. It’s a good size for a small venue, interesting leveled floor setup and a nice balcony. I hope they have more good shows coming in the future.